A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American - download pdf or read online

By Jay Cost

ISBN-10: 1594037280

ISBN-13: 9781594037283

After the Constitutional conference, Benjamin Franklin was once requested, “Well, physician, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin’s reaction: “A Republic—if you could preserve it.”

This publication argues: we couldn’t preserve it.

A actual republic privileges the typical curiosity above the designated pursuits. to do that, our structure proven an intricate procedure of assessments and balances that separates strength one of the branches of presidency, and locations them in clash with each other. The Framers believed that this might retain greedy, covetous factions from buying sufficient energy to dominate govt. in its place, in simple terms the folk might rule.

Proper institutional layout is key to the program. every one department needs to deal with responsibly the powers it really is granted, in addition to rebuke the opposite branches once they pass off course. this can be the place next generations have run into hassle: we've got overloaded our govt with extra energy than it might probably deal with. The Constitution's tests and balances have damaged down as the associations created in 1787 can't workout responsibly the powers of our sprawling, big twenty-first century government.

The result's the triumph of exact pursuits over the typical curiosity. James Madison known as this factionalism. we all know it as political corruption.

Corruption this day is so common that our govt isn't really a lot a republic, yet particularly a different curiosity democracy. every person may perhaps take part, definite, however the contours of public coverage rely now not lots at the universal stable, yet fairly the push-and-pull of a few of the curiosity teams encamped in Washington, DC.

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Extra resources for A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption

Sample text

The election of a radical, reforming Conservative government challenged the basis of the consensus in the 1980s, converting the partners into adversaries, through the new government's more limited vision of the proper role of local government. The Thatcherite challenge The conventional model of local government has gone almost unchallenged for most of this century. Public services, professionally staffed and budget-financed, provided directly by the local authority under the executive control of a service committee - this is the established norm in local government.

This has arisen from a combination of the growing financial dependence of local government, and the extension of detailed administrative controls (Wheatley, 1969; Layfield, 1976). However, it must be clear that central control is a relative rather than an absolute concept: departments vary in their political objectives through regulation, direction and encouragement. The empirical evidence on the impact of financial dependence on policy is not convincing. By contrast, there is evidence of considerable diversity of budgetary response (Midwinter, 1990).

The reality is that since the introduction of capping in the early 1980s, Conservative strategy has been about the achievement of control, and even the poll tax aberration was with the specific objective of delivering spending reductions. The result is a reduced choice for citizens, as local authorities' scope for action is limited by central government. Local government now has reduced responsibility and discretion (Jones, 1977). Traditionally, that discretion has been achieved through statutes which provide for it, and through local taxation which gave a degree of autonomy beyond central government spending plans.

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A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption by Jay Cost

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